What skills will humanity need in 2050? Cara Saven, founder of Cara Saven Wall Design and winner of the title Santam 2021 Woman of the Future, believes future capabilities will hinge on adaptability, resilience, and strong multitasking ̶ all skills at which women tend to be inherently good.
“I believe women are well poised for the future if they are true to themselves and comfortable with their way of doing things, rather than trying to follow the ways things were done in the past. We often manage things differently; that doesn’t make us less skilled or capable, in fact, it often enables us to achieve more,” she adds.
Here are some of Saven’s thoughts on becoming future fit by bolstering business resilience early on:
- The skills of 2050: It’s critical to future forecast and identify some of the skills needed ‘tomorrow’, to begin building a pipeline of these for the business. “We’ll need to embrace new forms of technology and combine these with the innate human skills machines cannot replace, like intuition, interpersonal relationship skills, and understanding ourselves well.
“We also need to encourage our children to follow their hearts. My daughter is a dancer. Will I stop her from dancing because I am concerned she will not earn enough from it or that there are not enough jobs available? No. She will find a way to earn an income from it. Our world needs more artistry and creativity. If I had been stopped from following my path, I would not be where I am today.”
- The practical skills women entrepreneurs should focus on, early on: “Hard work and the ability to juggle. I have also learned to delegate and have a philosophy that DONE IS BETTER THAN PERFECT, which allows me to move through tasks quickly.”
- The lessons to learn to survive the first 1 000 days in operation as an entrepreneur: “Hard work and speed. We started with a very small team where everyone was expected to do everything and do it quickly. We all have families and limited time, so we used that without any waste. I also learned to let go. As the owner of a business, it was a very hard thing to do. It took me about one year per employee to fully trust them with my brand.”
- Capitalising on flexibility in the evolving world of work: “Women have always had to juggle and beg for that flexibility, which has now become the norm thanks to Covid-19. I think the world has finally acknowledged what working women have always known: if you want to retain women in the workforce, allow them flexibility.”
- Getting a leg up: Taking part in initiatives like Santam Women of the Future can boost a business. “It helped my personal brand, which has given the company brand a certain status and credibility in the business world, which creative brands can struggle to achieve.” Next, Saven is focused on continuing her global expansion and developing her e-commerce offering.
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